Monday, August 30, 2010

Lake Sebu: Reflections on a journey back to the land of lakes, falls and dreamweavers

Lake Sebu - Seloton Shrimp Catchers II
Lake Seloton Shrimp Catchers Reflection
Goodness gracious, was it already three years ago since we first stepped into Lake Sebu?  One thing I distinctly remembered from that trip was that the cool clime was a direct contrast to the warmth of the people.  Another thing was the abundance of bodies of water, from placid lakes to thundering waterfalls, considering that the place is almost 300 meters above sea level.
Lake Sebu - Seloton Boats and Roots
Seloton Sunrise Lake Reflections
Going back to Lake Sebu was already in our plans later in the year or next year but one of our participants in our Backpack Photography workshops tossed the idea of doing it much earlier.  So who are we to refuse?   Our good friend, Lantaw, who hails from Marbel, told us there were changes in the place like a zipline traversing five of the seven falls.  Hmm, was that good or bad?  That made us even more excited to find out if these were nice additions or degrading commercial distractions to a place that we find enchanting and worthwhile revisiting.
Lake Sebu - Young Fisherman & Mom
Starting 'em young - Young T'boli boy cast his luck at Lake Sebu
The nicer thing about revisiting Lake Sebu this time around is being able to share the appreciation of the culture of the indigenous T'boli who calls this ancestral domain their home with our participants. On a personal level, I believe that more just bringing home nice photographs, the greater reward is in reaching out to our indigenous brothers and sisters and appreciating their culture, their way of life.  Another valuable thing is in expressing awe over the beauty of the surroundings, of how much is left intact and largely untouched.
Lake Sebu - Boat and Lily
Lake Sebu - A boat and lily
And so we made a journey into a land of lakes and waterfalls; of a gentle people whose lives revolve around water; of weavers who forego months of intimacy so as not to disrupt the flow of dreams that inspire the patterns of T'nalak.   Maybe, when you're enveloped by so much water, your dreams will be as liquid as the lake.  And maybe, just maybe, if Billy Joel saw Lake Sebu, he might have entitled his song "Lake of Dreams."

Coming up: Meeting the Weaver of Dreams
Future Lagalog: Zipping Over Five Falls in 60 seconds


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